10 Best Shopify Alternatives (Free & Paid) to Consider in 2024

Thursday September 2121st Sep 2023
11 min. read
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What are the best alternatives to Shopify?

💡 Quick Answer: Some of the best Shopify alternatives are BigCommerce, Shift4Shop, WooCommerce, Wix, Magento, Squarespace, PinnacleCart, Ecwid, Prestashop, and Sellfy.

So, you’re a budding entrepreneur, and you want to launch an online store. What’s the first thing you need to do?

A tie-up with Shopify is the next logical step. Shopify is an eCommerce platform that makes designing and launching an online store easy. It is fully equipped with all the retail services one could possibly need.

But did you know that there are Shopify alternatives out there that are just as efficient, although not as popular?

Some of them may be a better fit for your business!

Read on as we discuss the 10 best eCommerce platforms worth considering. Here, you are sure to find the best option for your online store in terms of budget, scalability, and crucial retail features.

Look, Shopify is a fantastic platform—it’s the most popular one for a reason. But when you venture into these alternatives, you may find one that is better for your business objectives.

Shopify has over 5.6 million online stores and 4.1 million active websites. It has generated over $200 billion in sales worldwide, with around 2.1 million active users. It also supports Shopify apps that make online retailers’ operations easier.

But because it caters to such a huge audience across all possible retail niches, Shopify may not have the specific features that other small businesses may be looking for.

Shopify pricing plans

The platform offers three plans:

  • Basic - $19 per month
  • Shopify - $49 per month
  • Advanced - $299 per month

The Basic plan is affordable, but it barely has advanced features. You need to sign up for the next tier to truly maximize the benefits of the platform. Brand-new business owners may not have the budget for this.

Shopify also only offers 3 days of free trial.

Pros and cons of Shopify

Why do so many businesses choose Shopify?

  • It is easy to use.
  • It has robust customer support.
  • It supports multiple payment processors.
  • It accommodates different business categories.
  • It has a wide variety of storefront themes.
  • It has many apps and plugins.
  • It offers customization.
  • It offers dropshipping options (be sure to check out how SaleHoo Dropship connects to Shopify).

These are fantastic benefits for businesses. But Shopify also has some downsides:

  • The plan tiers may be out of reach for micro and small businesses in terms of pricing.
  • It offers limited customization.
  • It doesn’t have email hosting.
  • Using the platform is a long-term commitment because Shopify makes it hard for you to close your store.

Clearly, the pros outweigh the cons, but doing your due diligence and checking out Shopify alternatives will help you make the best possible decision for your business.

10 best alternatives to Shopify

You can launch your online business on any of these platforms. Read through the features, prices, and pros and cons to determine which one suits your business best.

1. BigCommerce

BigCommerce launched in 2009, and it was designed to simplify the process of running an online business.

It offers the following services:

  • Online store creation
  • Hosting
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Marketing
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Theme customization
  • Checkout customization
  • Mobile optimization
  • 24/7 support
  • And more.

It is built for small businesses with allowances for growth. So, you can start with a few products without worrying about transitioning to hundreds or thousands of items in a few months or years.

How it differs from Shopify:

Shopify and BigCommerce are largely the same. Both offer free and premium themes you can edit, 24/7 customer support, and a wide range of apps.

Shopify supports more apps, including SaleHoo, which perfectly complements its dropshipping services. BigCommerce has fewer apps because it has built-in tools that make running an online store a breeze.

Who BigCommerce is best suited for:

BigCommerce is best for scaling. Some platforms are built for small businesses, while others, like Shopify, are great for large companies. BigCommerce provides a lot of scope for growth, and its features are ideal for scaling with thousands of tools for efficient operations.

How much BigCommerce costs:

  • Standard - $29 per month
  • Plus - $79 per month
  • Pro - $299 per month

The platform offers a free trial for 15 days, so you can experience all of the features firsthand.

 

2. Shift4 Shop

Shift4Shop was founded in 1997 under the name 3dcart as a company that offers eCommerce software for retailers. It changed its name in 2021 with the same goal of making it easy for small businesses to start their online store.

It offers the following features:

  • Industry-specific website designs
  • Mobile optimization
  • SEO optimization
  • Customization
  • HTML and CSS editor
  • Product and order management
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing

Some of these features are not found on other platforms or only as third-party apps, which means additional effort and expense.

How it differs from Shopify:

Shift4Shop and Shopify are both great for entrepreneurs with little to no coding knowledge. One of their biggest differences is SEO—Shift4Shop offers product pages already compatible with Google AMP. The same cannot be said for Shopify, which needs a plugin to do the same.

You can also customize your URL with Shift4Shop, which is a terrific advantage for online businesses.

Who Shift4Shop is best suited for:

Budget-conscious business owners should take advantage of Shift4Shop’s $0 premium eCommerce solution. However, you need to process at least $500 in monthly transactions with Shift4, the company’s integrated shopping solution.

How much Shift4Shop costs:

  • Free - $0 per month, but eCommerce stores must process a minimum of $500 transaction on Shift4
  • End-to-end eCommerce Plan - $299 per month

3. WooCommerce

Launched in 2011, WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress users. One of the biggest draws for WordPress and WooCommerce is the ease of use.

WooCommerce offers the following:

  • Online store creation
  • Customization
  • Support
  • Built-in email
  • Built-in advertising
  • Built-in social features

You may also integrate WooCommerce with AliDropship, which is another plugin.

How it differs from Shopify:

The biggest difference between the two is control. With WooCommerce, you have more control of your site in terms of customization and scalability. There is limited freedom on Shopify when it comes to themes and personalization.

Who WooCommerce is best suited for:

For businesses with websites hosted on WordPress, WooCommerce is a no-brainer—it’s just a matter of integrating the plugin. WooCommerce is also more budget-friendly with basic features. When you add hosting services, domains, and security, the pricing goes up.

How much WooCommerce costs:

  • Essential - $39 per month or $25 per month when paid annually
  • Performance - $70 per month or $45 per month when paid annually

The free trial lasts 15 days.

4. Wix

Wix launched in 2006 to provide cloud-based web development services for businesses. It allows users to create websites through online drag-and-drop tools.

It offers the following features:

  • Website building
  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Creation of unlimited functionalities
  • Customization with thousands of designs
  • Custom logo, domain, and branding tools
  • SEO optimization
  • AI technology

Businesses can opt for the paid plan for payment services and other essential eCommerce features.

How it differs from Shopify:

Shopify is made for eCommerce companies, while Wix is mainly a website builder that offers eCommerce capabilities at an additional cost. Both are easy to use, and entrepreneurs without coding knowledge can quickly build an online store on either platform. Shopify has plenty of design templates for customization, but Wix offers thousands of them for free.

Who Wix is best suited for:

Wix is great for entrepreneurs who want a lot of control. The platform offers many customization options, allowing for much more creativity in terms of website design. 

How much Wix costs:

  • Free (not for eCommerce)
  • Connect domain - $4.50 per month
  • Combo (for personal use) - $8.50 per month
  • Unlimited (for entrepreneurs and freelancers) - $12.50 per month
  • VIP - $24.50 per month
  • Business basic - $17 per month
  • Business unlimited - $25 per month
  • Business VIP - $35 per month

5. Magento

Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform in PHP. It launched in 2008 and was acquired by Adobe in 2018. It now operates as Adobe Commerce.

Some of its essential eCommerce features include:

  • Website building
  • AI capabilities
  • Advanced data-sharing capabilities
  • Customization
  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Scalable

Since it is open source, you can leverage the backend to tailor-fit many components of your online store to suit your clientele. You can also create personalized B2B and B2C experiences.

How it differs from Shopify:

Shopify is a hosted platform, while Magento is self-hosted, which means it takes care of all essential services of launching an online store. You can create your website on Magento, but domain, web hosting services, security, and extensions are paid features.

Who Magento is best suited for:

Magento is best suited for bigger companies with an in-house development team to create and operate their eCommerce site. Settings and features are highly customizable if you know how to code.

How much Magento costs:

Magento is free to download, but eCommerce users need to pay for domain, hosting, and other essential services.

Adobe Commerce does not have a standard pricing structure. Instead, you need to submit business details, and it will send over customized prices.

Here are some estimated costs:

  • Web hosting - $14.99 to $39.99 per month
  • Domain - $10 minimum per year
  • SSL certificate - $50 minimum per year
  • Web developer
  • Transaction fees for payment services

6. Squarespace

Squarespace is a website building and hosting company. Its features center on design, which is a critical element of eCommerce sites.

Its features include:

  • Website creation
  • Easy-to-use templates
  • Marketing tools
  • Domains
  • Social media tools
  • Logo maker
  • Extensions

The platform can be challenging to navigate at first. But once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy constantly tweaking and improving the look of your online storefront.

How it differs from Shopify:

Squarespace is, first and foremost, a website builder made for anyone who wants to create a website: bloggers, influencers, organizations, and others. But it has fantastic eCommerce capabilities that help make online stores highly competitive, especially aesthetics-wise.

Who Squarespace is best suited for:

The platform is made for businesses that care deeply about design and hope to leverage creativity to attract customers.

How much Squarespace costs:

  • Personal - $16 per month
  • Business - $23 per month
  • Commerce (Basic) - $27 per month
  • Commerce (Advanced) - $49 per month

The free trial lasts 14 days, so you have more than enough time to try out its robust design features.

7. PinnacleCart

Childhood friends Craig and Mike created PinnacleCart in a hotel room. It was one of their best business ideas: an all-in-one webstore solution that is engineered to increase conversions.

PinnacleCart offers the following:

  • Website development
  • Great customer experience
  • Mobile optimization
  • Beautiful storefront
  • Conversion-focused templates
  • Point-and-click interface
  • Customization
  • Marketing tools

Much like other popular eCommerce platforms, coding knowledge or experience is not needed to build a store on PinnacleCart. It has integrated marketing tools to help you reach your audience and encourage them to purchase.

How it differs from Shopify:

PinnacleCart fetches relatively high rates, which you could recoup with the lack of transaction fees for each sale. The platform also limits bandwidth but gives you the option to add more if needed. It is ideal for small startups that aim to scale in the future.

Who PinnacleCart is best suited for:

It is for any type of eCommerce business with a relatively large capital. PinnacleCart is not cheap, but it offers amazing features for startups, such as five administration accounts, unlimited products, and customer support. It is also great for businesses that care for design—it has stunning themes that can be customized to attract clientele.

How much PinnacleCart costs:

  • Standard - $79.95 per month
  • Advanced - $199.95 per month
  • Enterprise - contact PinnacleCart for custom pricing

The platform offers a free trial for 14 days.

8. Ecwid

Ecwid—short for eCommerce widget—functions as an add-on to an existing website. Small-time entrepreneurs can easily manage their online store on a single platform even without coding knowledge.

Features include:

  • Website development
  • Social media tools
  • Online marketplace integration
  • Point-of-sale connection for online stores
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Drag-and-drop dashboard

You can use Ecwid to build an online store if you have less than ten products. But for more items, you need an existing website and integrate this platform as a widget.

How it differs from Shopify:

Ecwid is a widget or an expansion where you can create an online store to add to your existing website.

Who Ecwid is best suited for:

Ecwid is ideal for small brick-and-mortar stores that want to establish an online presence. The more affordable paid plan is for limited products, ideal for micro and small businesses. Ecwid is easy to scale—there are more expensive tiers for unlimited products. The prices for all plans are generally quite affordable.

How much Ecwid costs:

  • Free
  • Venture - $14.08 to $19 per month (lower price is billed annually)
  • Business - $29.08 to $39 per month
  • Unlimited - $82.90 to $99 per month

9. Prestashop

Prestashop is an open-source eCommerce platform founded in 2007 in Paris. It began as a school project and went on to become a competitive platform where businesses can sell online with a fully customizable storefront. It gives companies full control over their store and data.

Here are some of its features:

  • Website development
  • Customization
  • Multiple point-of-sale channels
  • Unlimited listings
  • Inventory management
  • Advanced SEO capabilities
  • Email automation
  • Advanced navigation and search

Prestashop operates on a freemium basis, which allows for a ton of flexibility. The basic features are free, but you have to pay for add-ons, such as web development, features, functions, themes, and hosting.

How it differs from Shopify:

Prestashop is a non-hosting platform, so you need a separate hosting service. There are many customization options, so you can control how small or big your website will be. In contrast, Shopify is an all-around platform with all the features you need to host, build, and scale your eCommerce website.

Who Prestashop is best suited for:

It is best for small businesses with a limited budget. Signing up and basic features are free. You can be strategic with your add-ons to maximize your expenses.

You can save even more when you integrate dropshipping into your store.

How much Prestashop costs:

Prestashop is technically free, but you need add-ons to make an eCommerce site fully operational.

10. Sellfy

Sellfy offers a diverse range of products for all kinds of businesses. It is highly attractive for retailers because of the platform’s capabilities to make secure transactions for physical and digital products.

Some of its best features include the following:

  • Web development
  • Customization
  • Domain
  • Automatic regional translation
  • Mobile optimization
  • Social media tools

The platform promises you can create your online store within five minutes. The interface and UX design ensure easy navigation, and users can leverage the platform for a highly customized storefront. Sellfy can also be used as an add-on for businesses with an existing website. The platform integrates buy buttons on certain web pages.

How it differs from Shopify:

Sellfy is a versatile platform where you can create an online store. You can also integrate Sellfy features into an existing website or social media account so customers can automatically purchase a product. In contrast, Shopify is an all-in-one service where you build your store and optimize operations through apps.

Who Sellfy is best suited for:

The platform is ideal for digital goods. Sellfy provides a secure process for customers to purchase items. Its robust security and privacy strategies also ensure that customer details are kept private.

How much Sellfy costs:

  • Starter - $19 per month or $456 every two years
  • Business - $49 per month or $1,176 every two years
  • Premium - $99 per month or $2,376 every two years

So which eCommerce platform is best for you?

Shopify is far from the only platform out there for a successful eCommerce business.

Now that you know about at least ten other options, you can make better decisions on which is best to create your online store. It’s not just a matter of which is the most popular or has the most features; it’s also about what best suits your business and your niche.

How do you choose your platform? You must consider the following elements:

  • Ease of use - You don’t want a platform that you have to spend days or weeks learning to navigate. It should be easy to use for everyone on your team, even beginners.
  • Budget - Some platforms may have better or more exciting features than others, but can your business afford them? Don’t settle for the cheapest service, either. Consider your options closely to get the most out of your budget.
  • Scalability - You may have a small business and a small budget right now, but this could easily change in the next few months. There is tremendous scope for growth in the world of eCommerce, so your choice of platform must be able to accommodate you in the future.
  • Dropshipping integration - Dropshipping is a terrific business model that requires little capital and generates tons of revenue. Consider how much dropshipping costs along with the operations of your online store. Platforms like Shopify seamlessly integrate with easy-to-use dropshipping apps like SaleHoo Dropship, which can help you start dropshipping right away.

By now, you should have a clear idea of which eCommerce platform is best for your eCommerce website. And remember, if you’re still thinking about what products to sell and what suppliers to work with, feel free to check out SaleHoo Directory where you can choose from millions of products and thousands of suppliers from across the world. As always, if you have any questions regarding eCommerce or selling online, feel free to reach out to our 24/7 customer support staff here. Happy selling!

 

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